Author Topic: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?  (Read 1127 times)

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Offline Finch

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New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« on: January 24, 2017, 10:56:19 PM »
Hi there! I joined up because my husband and I are trying to decide if we should move to London.
Husband is a British citizen so visa for me shouldn't be a big issue.
NHS and paid maternity/paternity policies, 15hrs a week of free childcare, as well as being closer to family are big pluses to us.
But even though both our current companies have London offices and we could transfer but our salaries would not be the same  (almost 50% pay cuts even accounting for the exchange rate) as they are in NYC. And with brexit we feel like there's a lot of economic uncertainty in UK right now. We're both feeling really confused about what's right for our family for the long term. But hopefully this group will help!  :)

P.s Adulting is hard  ;D


Offline KFdancer

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 11:01:08 PM »
Adulting is hard!

Paid maternity and paternity leave are getting fewer and further between but they do still exist.  And it's hard to find who has good policies before you move.

Personally the NHS is "meh" for me due to having had great insurance in the US.  So leaves a lot to be desired.

But it's not all bad!  :)  Can't put a price on being closer to family.  While we are happy in the UK, we are looking at moving to the US to have family support with our growing family! 

Offline Finch

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 11:11:02 PM »
Great insurance is expensive though. My husband and I pay $6000 a year for our insurance and I still had to pay some out of pocket ($1800) when I had an emergency surgery last year.

I thought 40 wks maternity leave was the law in UK with a percentage of pay for each of the weeks from 90% down to 40% am I mistaken there?

If you're looking to move to NYC maybe we can just switch places haha! What's prompting you to move back if you don't mind me asking!

Offline Finch

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 11:30:20 PM »
Ah sorry you're moving back to be close to family! Yeah it's a huge help to have family around when you have kiddos!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 11:32:28 PM by Finch »

Online jimbocz

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 10:48:25 AM »
The impact of Brexit on your personal financial circumstances will probably be roughly the same as the Trump election.  In a big scale, there might be economic impact, but on a personal level probably not so much.  Don't let that worry you. 

The NHS is significantly good, especially if you are planning on having kids.  I've never had to worry a bit about medical coverage since I've lived here for 15 years.  Pretty much any care my family needs, they get.

I'm no expert on maternity leave, but I seriously doubt many people are getting very long at %90 income from the government.  That's the kind of thing that's usually specified in your employment contract.  One big difference is that here it is totally accepted that a new mother will take 40 weeks leave and from what I've heard that is not the case in the US.

One reason that people take so much leave is that childcare costs are ridiculously high.  Again Im no expert, but that 15 hours of free childcare does not change that.  It may be only for low income, or some other catch that makes it sound far better than it actually is.  If you live here, childcare costs will most likely be roughly equal to your entire salary, it is for my wife.  The good news is that it makes more sense to stay home with your kids. 

I wouldn't move here thinking that it is some kind of socialist utopia based upon the policies you have mentioned.  In practice, raising kids is career destroying hard work here as well. 

Of course, there could be plenty of other reasons to move, and the support of family might be a huge one, especially if that family can provide free child care!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 11:15:10 AM »
Well, my income is taxed at 45% plus 12% National Insurance plus the £200/year NHS levy, plus I have private medical insurance which is £1,000/year.  PLUS I still have things that aren't covered.  I'm currently pregnant and had the old archaic NHS test come back showing a problem and it was recommended by the NHS to have a private test done to see if baby was healthy and that was £469.  So all that glitters is not gold when it comes to the NHS.   :P  Trust me, I PAY for my healthcare, if you know what I mean.  It isn't free!

Standard maternity leave is that your job must be held for 12 months - which is great.  If you qualify, you receive 90% of your pay for 6 weeks.  And then £112/week from weeks 7-39 (that's the maximum payout).  Then no pay from weeks 39-52.  My monthly childcare bill for my daughter is £1,118 (probably peanuts compared to NYC childcare - I'm not in London so it's cheaper where I am).  When I have my second, I'll get 10% off the second child!  Woo hoo!

Not to mention when I have the baby, I'll be on a ward with 6 other women and their babies.  Personally, I'd rather pay a bit and have some privacy.  And I would KILL for my husband to be able to stay with me.  Instead it's 1950's style and no partners are allowed to stay overnight.  Ahh, the shared toilets.  I can't wait!   ;)

They are making changes to the free childcare entitlement.  Changes have not yet been announced (starts in September 2017), but I've seen the criteria for some test markets.  If that is used - guess who doesn't qualify?  If a parent is subject to immigration control, no free hours.  Well, that's me!  So we don't expect our childcare bill to drop at all.  Shame, as it's for the benefit of the child, not the immigrant, but whatever.

Big reason we want to move is the massive anti-immigration sentiment here.  We know it won't be better in the US, but at least we won't be handing ALL of our money to the government and we'll get to keep a little bit.   ;)  But yes, the primary reason is family support.  We are currently recruiting a list of friends to stay with my daughter when I deliver this baby, as my inlaws won't help.   :-\\\\

And yes, I think a move here to have family support would be 100% worth it.  It's just not going to be all unicorns and rainbows.  You won't be getting any help from the government.  We are dirty immigrants after all!

Online sonofasailor

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2017, 01:48:09 PM »
Instead it's 1950's style

My sister-in-law swears that when she gave birth in Italy about a decade ago the doctor was smoking during the delivery. 
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across - Sun Tzu

Offline KFdancer

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2017, 02:02:27 PM »
My sister-in-law swears that when she gave birth in Italy about a decade ago the doctor was smoking during the delivery.

Lol!  That's really funny!

I mean, I wouldn't have been amused if it was my birth.  But it's funny when it's someone else's story.   ;D

Online jimbocz

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 02:51:57 PM »
When we had both of our kids, my wife ended up in a room by herself.  She had her own bathroom and stayed there for 3 days each time.  I did have to leave at night after the baby was born, but the nurses took care of her at night.  All my memories are positive (except for the normal child birth horrors)

I guess your mileage may vary!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 03:04:14 PM »
When we had both of our kids, my wife ended up in a room by herself.  She had her own bathroom and stayed there for 3 days each time.  I did have to leave at night after the baby was born, but the nurses took care of her at night.  All my memories are positive (except for the normal child birth horrors)

I guess your mileage may vary!

I really agree with my hospital's policy on private rooms.  You get a private room if you have to be separated from your baby.  They find it insensitive to put a woman who doesn't have her baby (either NICU, SCBU, or worse) on a ward full of women with babies.  So as much as I would have LOVED a private room, I am incredibly grateful that I did not "qualify" for a private room, if you know what I mean.

Offline Finch

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 03:06:56 PM »
@jimbocz That's good to know re maternity leave. The uk gov website says you get 6 weeks at 90% then they will hold your job for 40 wks. In contrast in America you get 0 paid weeks and if you are lucky your employer meets family  medical leave act guidelines and you qualify for 12 weeks unpaid, but for example I know many people who went back to work after 1 to 2 weeks which was very hard on the mother especially.
American's culturally just have a different outlook towards work that I think isn't as prevalent in UK culture, my friends that went back at 1 week were kind of guilted by their bosses into going back early.

Maybe childbirth through NHS depends on where you live? My sister in law gave birth in Epsom and had a private room and her husband slept on a couch in the room with her the one night they were there. But they also went the midwife led unit route so maybe that was why?

I think US and Uk both have positives and negatives and we just need to figure out what will work best long term for our family. Which is harder than it sounds!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 03:21:21 PM »
Midwife led unit is definitely different.  I've seen photos of friend's rooms at the same hospital I delivered from the midwife led unit.  To say the difference is apparent is an understatement!  Unfortunately my first pregnancy turned high risk towards the end, so that wasn't an option for me.  Plus, I am A-Okay with accepting pain relief which you can't have on the midwife unit (not that I managed to get an epidural but if there had been an anaesthetist available, I could have had one).  My midwife has already coached me on what to say and do to get one this time.   ;)

Online jimbocz

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2017, 03:26:39 PM »
That's it, the second time we were certainly on the mid wife led unit.  We still ended up with an epidural anyway. 

Offline KFdancer

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2017, 03:30:51 PM »
That's it, the second time we were certainly on the mid wife led unit.  We still ended up with an epidural anyway.

Wasn't a midwife led unit if there was an epidural.  The birth may have only been attended by midwives, but to have an epidural you have to be on the consultant-led ward.  One of the few things that's consistent across the NHS.

Online jimbocz

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Re: New Member! NYC to UK...Maybe?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2017, 03:38:28 PM »


I think US and Uk both have positives and negatives and we just need to figure out what will work best long term for our family. Which is harder than it sounds!

This is exactly it.  You can compare this and that but you can't know until you just do it.  Even then, you'll still be working through culture shock for some time so you can't even compare for some years.

I never get tired of living here, it's like being on holiday every day.  My kids are actually British and speak like the queen, which cracks me up every time I hear it.  I holiday in Egypt, Spain and Portugal and drive to France for the day.  How do you compare that?  I also live in a shoe box and hang up my laundry in the living room because we can't have a dryer.